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The rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) name ptarmigan comes from the Scottish Gaelic tàrmachan – literally croaker – and it prefers higher elevations and more barren habitat. Rock ptarmigans may moult several times a year and change colour when it does so. During the summer months, it is spotted brown, with males shedding white winter plumage later than females. In the winter both sexes shed the brown plumage for an almost pure white coat. It is circumpolar, meaning it is found in many places all around the North Pole...including Scotland, the origin of its name.
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